“Come & See”

John points to Jesus.
And two follow.

Jesus called to Philip.
And Philip found Nathanael.

Beckoning spirit, we crave you.
We ache for connections and peace and wholeness. 

All around us we see hatred, brinkmanship, and suffering neighbors.
Why? How did we get here?

How did we get here? Why do we play at war when you teach us to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly?
What prevents us from living true to your breath which gives us life?

Open our hearts and minds.
Touch your image within us, make us one with you. 

Make us one with each other.
As you created us to be.

Christ beckons: “Come and See.”
Let us follow and become glimpses of you in our world. 

Let us begin in this hour.
Let us worship and learn.
Open us to Christ’s transformation.

Posted in Call to Worship, Days of the Church, Epiphany, John, John 1, John 1:35-51, narrative lectionary, New Testament, Seasons of the Church

Followers of the Baby

Christ has arrived as an infant.
As one who teaches us to be vulnerable.
As one whose every need must be fulfilled by love.

As a human baby, Christ will grow and change. Learn and strive. Yearn and hope. Love and grieve.
Christ is one of us. Christ teaches us. Christ points us toward the divine.

Go out and be human, like Jesus. Go out and strive to love as the witness of the baby turned prophet and rabbi teaches.
We go out as followers of Jesus, as Christ’s people. Amen.

Posted in Benediction, Christmas, John, John 1, John 1:19-34

Imagine a Savior

We waited.
And imagined a savior. 

We imagined power.
One like the world but stronger and on our side. 

We imagined a king on a white horse wielding a sword.
We got a baby born in a stable among the livestock. 

We imagined the work done for us through the destruction of our enemies.
We receive a baby who will teach us our calling to seek reconciliation and to love expansively. 

Praise be to God for the unexpected babe of Bethlehem.
Praise to the wisdom of love. Amen!

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Posted in Call to Worship, Christmas, John, John 1, John 1:19-34

God’s Word

We’ve been in exile.
We’ve allowed ourselves to be tempted by the idols of things and power.

We’ve found it isn’t what we thought.  Shopping therapy and yearning for a soda pop does nothing to build up our world.
They are all fizz and sugar, satiating only temporarily. 

We’re left with the same emptiness.
We’re left without the spirit-words of God. We’re alone in harshness and brokenness.

Acknowledging our idolatry and mistakes, we turn back to the living water. We turn back to the love that flows forward bringing justice and hope to all of humanity.
The word that comes from God’s mouth does not return empty. God’s word does as God intends.



Posted in Advent, Call to Worship, Confession of Sin & Assurance, Isaiah, Isaiah 55, Isaiah 55:1-11, Old Testament, Seasons of the Church

Resisting & Hoping

We call out to you,
“Be the God we dream!”
You respond by being
the God you are.

We discuss you and
define you and expect of you.
But you unravel our
expectations and definitions.

We seek to limit and control
putting you in a box of our making.
You turn our boxes upside down.

We seek now.
You bid us wait.

We seek obvious salvation.
You send a child.

We seek clear-cut and
easy answers.

You give us hope.
Upside down divinity,
give us the strength to resist a culture
of greed, of haves, and have-nots.

Turn our eyes away from the gold statues,
our idols of selfishness and fear.
Help us to let go of our expectations of you
so that we might be ready to welcome
the child who is on the way. Amen.

Posted in Advent, Advent 1 Hope, Call to Worship, Daniel, Daniel 3, Daniel 3:1, 8-30, Invocation, narrative lectionary, Old Testament, Seasons of the Church

Living Our Lives

We leave now to live our lives. We will grow old, we will raise families, we will love neighbor and family. We will get on with living our lives, mindful of the dreams God has for humanity. Whether we are in Jerusalem or Babylon, we will trust that God’s peace will come. 

Posted in Benediction, Jeremiah, Jeremiah 29, Jeremiah 29:1-14, narrative lectionary, Old Testament

Getting on With Life While in Exile

To my people in exile,
wrote the prophet, Jeremiah.

To you who have put your lives on hold while in Babylon,
he added.

Build homes. Get married. Have children and watch them grow up and marry.
Get on with your lives, live in the now.

Find happiness and contentment far from home. Trust that the time will come when my dreams for you are made whole.
For now, be content, and live.

The time will come when my promise will be fulfilled. Peace will come. Disasters will end. I will gather you up and bring you home to me.
The time will come when will be one people, one with God. 

Until then…
Until then we will wait while getting on with our lives. We will give thanks for the present. We will give thanks even in the exile. Amen.

Posted in Call to Worship, Jeremiah, Jeremiah 29, Jeremiah 29:1-14, narrative lectionary, Old Testament
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All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

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